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Amateur radio operators 'vital' to county emergency response

Sun City Center, Florida — They're some of the most critical people for a hurricane response, but you may be surprised, even concerned, when you first hear who they are: amateurs.

10 News looked at the people our rescuers rely on when the power goes out and the phones go silent.

They don't use sirens or flashing lights; instead, they use HAM radios to keep you safe when disaster strikes.

Riverview mobile home fire

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue units responded to a mobile home fire located at 8633 Crowell Dr in Riverview.

Multiple 911 calls were received stating that a mobile home was engulfed in flames.

The home was not occupied at the time of the fire.

Police: Missing girl may be with sex offender

Valrico, Florida -- Hillsborough Sheriff's deputies are searching for a missing teenager who they say may be in the company of a registered sex offender.

Deputies say around 4 p.m. on June 11, 16-year-old Ashley Lyon left her home at 4705 Water Lark Way in Valrico and has not been seen or heard from since.

Ashley has been diagnosed as bi-polar and did not take her medications with her.

HiddenCash Tampa twitter feed helps us 'pay it forward'

Tampa, Florida -- Terri Romano wasn't quite sure what to do when she got the devastating phone call early in the morning.

"It was very, very scary," she said.

Romano works with the Tampa Animal Coalition. The phone call was from the company's security company letting her know the building was a victim of arson.

"It would have probably been close to impossible to put this back to together as quickly as we did without the donations," she said.

Oak tree crashes onto mobile home in Seffner

Seffner, Florida -- A large oak tree took out part of a mobile home Friday afternoon and, thankfully, the resident inside was unharmed.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue units responded to the home on Alafara Street in Seffner to reports of a mobile home that received structural damage due to an oak tree that had fallen on top of it.

When they arrived, HCFR crews found the large oak tree on top of a shed and the bathroom area of the mobile home.

Crackdown: Fines on ride-sharing drivers

Tampa, Florida -- Tampa transportation enforcers are cracking down on the popular new ride sharing programs "Uber" and "Lyft."

Inspectors have handed out thousands of dollars in tickets to drivers who the Public Transportation Commission says are operating illegally. There's also concerns that users don't know who is behind the wheel.

"They're operating illegally, because they're violating all of our rules, every one of them," says PTC Director Kyle Cockream.

Tampa debuts new firefighting weapon

Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Bay has a new firefighting weapon: The Patriot.

The Tractor Tug Patriot is one of very few tugboats in the U.S. with offshore open-ocean firefighting capabilities. Take a look at this, it can spray 12,500 gallons per minute and up to 400 feet.

And talk about power. It can fill an entire swimming pool in ONE minute.